Property seminar at Trinity Park
The annual property seminar organised by law firm Birketts, property consultants Fenn Wright and accountants and business advisers BDO LLP has been held again this year at Trinity Park Conference Centre in Ipswich. Over 200 delegates from the region attended the well-established event, which aims to provide a perceptive update into property market activity and information on current legal and tax issues.
36% of the delegates expect to be buying property in the next year, according to the findings of market research undertaken at the event. 62% think that the Conservative victory at the Election has had an impact on the property market, while 58% still think that the Government is not doing enough for the sector, including the emphasis on building new homes. When asked if residential prices have stopped rising a resounding 93% said no, compared to 54% this time last year.
Mark Sargeantson, consultant surveyor with Fenn Wright gave his respected overview of the regional property market commenting: “The Tory victory at the Election and continued low interest rates have both contributed to stability in the property market. House prices throughout the UK in the last year have risen by 5.3% while East Anglia has seen an increase of 8.3%. The average house price in Suffolk is now £176,000 and in Essex it is £211,000, where demand is particularly strong. But I believe there is a residential correction looming. Commercial market activity in the region reveals weak occupational demand for offices, with warehouses and industrial being the strongest sector showing good demand. Retail is improving provided rents are competitive.”
Birketts talked about the very latest developments in property law, focusing on subjects facing buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. Stuart Raven, partner at Birketts said: “The two main subjects that have troubled people for years are the planning system and business rates. We are still without the overhaul that business wants and expects from the Government who in many respects, are simply not getting to the heart of the matter.”
BDO LLP partner, Peter Harrup remarked: “There are important modifications to tax issues affecting corporates and individuals, including taking out final dividends before 6 April and easier access to pension funds. We also emphasised zero rated VAT for construction services, how to extract property from companies and the need for careful tax planning in the property sector.”
Photo – left to right: Mark Sargeantson (consultant surveyor with Fenn Wright), Peter Harrup (partner at BDO LLP) and Stuart Raven (partner at Birketts)